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Rotary club to roast one of its own

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By Susan Sharp

Tonight the South Campbell County Rotary Club will deviate from its annual citizen of the year banquet.

Instead, the club will pay tribute to long time Rotarian and native Campbell Countian Haskel “Hack” Ayers by roasting him.

When it came time to select this year’s honoree event organizer Ann Ayers said the club didn’t even need to take a vote.

Hack Ayers was the hands down selection, she said.

“This is the first time we have ever honored a Rotarian and everybody wanted to honor Hack,” said Ann Ayers. “He has done a lot for the community and for Rotary. This is long overdue.”

When told of the honor Hack Ayers jokingly predicted it would be a mistake to honor him because no one would buy tickets.

He was wrong.

As of Tuesday, the Thursday night banquet was sold out, according to Ann Ayers.

“We have never sold out an event. Not even when Gov. (Don) Sundquist came to town,” Ann Ayers said.

That was over 10 years ago and to date was the largest event scheduled by the club. However, this year’s dinner will top that, she said.

“This is absolutely wonderful,” said Codi Ayers- Provins, of her father being honored. “We were not surprised. We have always known what a wonderful guy he is.”

Ayers is best known for his long career in real estate.

In 1957, he started Ayers Auction and Real Estate. It later grew into a family owned and operated business.

He also has a history of serving the public.

From 1962 until 1966 Ayers was the Campbell County Court Clerk. That was followed by serving four years in the Tennessee House of Representatives.

Along with being a Rotarian, Ayers is a member of the Campbell County Gideons.

During the course of the evening, which begins at 6:30 p.m., friends, family and community leaders will share stories about Hack Ayers.

The event will be held at the LaFollette Church of God, where Ayers has been a member for many years.

All proceeds raised benefit Rotary outreach programs.